The educational interview It is a tool or technique of psychopedagogical evaluation that consists of the conversation between two or more people with the purpose of sponsoring the collaboration of the families, the student and the educational institutions in the formation of the generations that will be adults in the future.
Directly or indirectly, the education interview aims to obtain information either to make diagnoses, to obtain help or to strengthen the relationship with the interlocutors, in order to share ideas, feelings, thoughts that facilitate the construction of new learning in children and teenagers.
This psychopedagogical tool can be presented between teacher-student or between teacher-parents. They present similarities in their structure and characteristics, but vary mainly in the topics addressed.
In the case of the teacher-student interview, it is essential to talk about their likes and hobbies, future plans, as well as to describe the situation in which the problem appears or what they dislike.
In that of teacher-parents, it is essential to describe the behaviors that are motivating the encounter, but also other areas that are favorable to the student. It is also necessary to ask for an opinion on the problem or the reason for the interview.
The expert in pedagogy from the Complutense University, María Antonia Casanova, describes it as an intentional conversation that allows obtaining data that, otherwise, would not be obtained due to its confidential nature.
The interview for educational purposes is a type of orientation interview that exclusively aims to address academic topics, that is, it seeks to obtain or facilitate or transmit information on topics such as: low performance, difficulties with some subjects, conflicts with classmates or teachers . It may also contain information or clarification about the student's future academic and work prospects..
Unlike a therapeutic interview, the educational interview is directed by the educator, who selects objectives and content as well as requests pertinent information from either the family or the student..
In addition, the tendency is to have possible solutions designed for the situation that arises, that is, it is highly probable that the family or the student will be guided with some guidelines to follow to solve the situation.
The final purpose of this type of tool is to contribute to the proper development of the child or adolescent, both at the individual, family and social level..
The educational interview presents characteristics typical of any kind of interview, such as the following:
- Have a clear objective, since the success of the intervention will depend on this. For this, the information to be shared and the data that it seeks to obtain must be delimited.
- Occur between two or more people, which can be between teacher-parents or teacher-students.
- Have someone responsible for conducting the interview, who will be in charge of formulating the questions, cross-examining or redirecting the conversation to achieve the objectives. In this particular case, it would be the educational professional who should direct the interaction. It is also who is in charge of recording the information collected.
The information flow is two-way, that is, data is obtained and also shared.
This type of pedagogical tool has a series of qualities of its own, among which can be listed:
- The information shared refers to the personality, behavior, qualities and potential of children and adolescents.
- The time is clearly delimited, planned in advance. They are usually short, concrete and agile, with a predefined beginning and end, which differentiates it from other interviews such as therapeutic.
- The space where the meeting takes place must be comfortable and pleasant, lending itself to confidentiality.
- The immediate intention of this conversation may be to correct habits and attitudes, guide or support a certain situation, as well as seek solutions to the student's psychological or emotional problems..
- Communication should be natural, in a simple and fluid dialogue between the participants, so that they feel free to share information or ask the questions they consider necessary..
- It is important for the interviewer to maintain an empathic yet objective attitude during the conversation, as well as to convey to the other the assurance that the information shared will be treated with confidentiality and discretion.
- The tone is official, cordial, moderately formal, but with an intonation that conveys empathy and openness. Looking at the face in the right cultures is essential.
In the educational field, the interview consists of 5 basic phases that give structure to the conversation and the information exchange. Here is a brief description of the sequence of acts:
After the initial greeting and its presentation, the teacher takes the floor with a standard language, neither colloquial nor technical. Participants (if they are not the student) must present themselves and somehow verify the identity and kinship of the family members who are there.
If there is more than one representative from the institution, it is important to explain why they are present and how they will participate.
At this stage, the professional can ask family members or the student questions about private aspects of the family that are linked or may influence education. It is important that you keep the structure of topics that you had previously established so that there are no issues left without talking.
It is also necessary for the teacher to take notes of the information provided by the representatives and, if necessary, cross-examine what is incomplete or confusing..
Once the information is collected, the teacher can guide and suggest the strategy to follow to solve the situation or improve any behavior that is affecting the educational development of the student..
The professional makes proposals, but the representatives or the student are free to accept or reject them, for which it is important that they be prepared for both scenarios..
After the strategy has been established, in which there has probably been some negotiation if it has not been fully accepted by the participants, the actions to be followed must be specified.
At this time, the agreement of both parties must be expressed and the teacher must request the commitment of the student or the family. In turn, you must commit to carrying out the plan that was established in a consensual manner..
In the last phase, the teacher must check that the family members or the student are willing to finish the interview, that there are no doubts in the aspects discussed and finally close the conversation.
The tone may be somewhat more affective depending on how the meeting evolved, however, formality must be maintained since it must consider that it is representing the educational institution.